Columnist John Halewood-Dodd: Despair on Brazilians’ face pulled at heartstrings

Although we have returned to the U.K. after our epic trip to Brazil I thought I would continue with tales of our experiences.

We had planned to stay for the entirety of the competition but for a number of reasons arranged early flights home. Firstly, the fact that England were out, but more importantly the fact that after more than four weeks away we were desperately missing our loved ones.

Given the friendliness of the Brazilians we had adopted them as our favourites to hopefully go on and lift the trophy, and had planned a World Cup Final party this coming Sunday. What happened at Belo Horizonte on Tuesday evening put an end to that in such a dramatic fashion that could not have been predicted.

That result, and the way in which Brazil capitulated to what has to be acknowledged was a mightily impressive German performance, was devastating. If I found it devastating I cannot begin to imagine how it has affected a football mad nation of over 200 million.

I have previously mentioned how wherever we went football was the main topic of conversation, and that is no real surprise when a World Cup is taking place, but the Brazilians are fanatical. Male and female, young and old, rich and poor all unite behind the team. To see and hear the passion with which the national anthem was belted out prior to the game was moving, but the despair pictured on people’s faces after that crushing defeat was heart-wrenching.

I half expected the news the following day to be full of coverage of riots throughout Brazil but thankfully that did not transpire.

Given that there had been an undercurrent of social unrest due to this being the most expensive World Cup ever staged, many had predicted that this would happen if Brazil did not win it.

I believe that the way in which they were eliminated meant that many would have had difficulty coming to terms with what they had just witnessed, and just wouldn’t have had the heart to take to the streets in protest.

I hope that remains to be the case so that the glorious memories of those of us who were fortunate enough to have been there remain untainted.